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Sustainability Day 2023

Sustainability and koalas

The last Wednesday of every October is Sustainability Day – on 25th October this year – and an opportunity to raise awareness about why sustainability is important to everyone living on our planet – including our beloved, iconic koala!

What is sustainability and why is it important?

Sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting natural resources for the future. It is about living today whilst ensuring that our kids and grandkids can also not simply survive but enjoy a quality life within a balanced, natural world.

The earth has a finite amount of resources which, if we keep consuming faster than we replenish them will disappear. Our natural resources include: air, water, soil, minerals, plants and animals.

This is a quick explanation of what sustainability means:

How does sustainability relate to koalas?

Forest logging:

Due to extensive forest logging, habitat destruction has become the number one threat to koalas. In Northern NSW, land-clearing is responsible for severely fragmented koala habitat. Fragmented and reduced habitat leaves koala populations vulnerable to car-hits, dog attacks, other backyard misadventures and adds pressure on existing populations as they can’t expand. Continued land-clearing will mean no habitat at all – which means no koalas – a situation we can’t even begin to imagine.

Clinton was admitted to our hospital following a car-hit that resulted in a broken jaw

Climate change:

Climate change is responsible for heating up our planet and the cause of droughts, bushfires and floods impacting areas including koala habitat. A more sustainable way of living helps reduce emissions into the atmosphere – the cause of climate change. Further, heatwaves are very difficult to bear for koalas and also can cost their lives.

Ember was found badly burnt during the 2019 bushfires


Did you know koalas living in stressful environments are more susceptible to developing chlamydia due to the stress? Chlamydia causes painful sore eyes and blindness in some koalas and severe bladder, kidney or reproductive disease in others. Stressful environments include fragmented habitat, bushfires, floods and human interaction.

Our current treatment for chlamydia outside of the the koala vaccination project is antibiotic treatment and we are yet to find out the long-term use of antibiotics on gut health in koala populations.

Quincy is a koala admitted to our hospital who was totally blind from chlamydial conjunctivitis

What can you do?

You can celebrate Sustainability Day on the last Wednesday of October each year and any other day of the year in a number of ways:

  • Recycle – you can even use Tomra’s Return and Earn scheme and fundraise for FOK like Riley
  • Save energy.
  • Use eco products.
  • Ditch plastic wherever possible.
  • Plant trees – in our case especially koala food trees .
  • Drive less, use more public transport, walk or cycle.
  • Reduce food waste – create meal plans and shop wisely – gift our calendar.
  • Compost your green waste.
  • Avoid palm oils.
  • Be a conscious consumer – buy less, buy well and ditch fast fashion.
  • Educate our budding environmentalists.
  • Participate in community clean up days.
  • Take action, use your voice, do something, not matter how small.

This list isn’t exhaustive – what are other ways you might help koalas and live a more sustainable lifestyle? We would love to hear your ideas. Contact us.

How we can help you help koalas

  • We use eco products from our partner SimplyClean – you can use them too for a more sustainable way of living plus 5 cents of every product sold is donated to Friends of the Koala. It doesn’t sound much but it adds up – in fact SimplyClean have donated over $65,000 to Friends of the Koala to date.
  • Instead of buying gifts for people who, let’s face it, probably have all they need – adopt a koala as a unique gift as an alternative. Makes all involved feel nice.
  • Plant or adopt trees from our nursery – you can read more about adopting a tree or how planting more trees can help save koalas here.
  • Leave a bequest in your will.
  • Vaccinate a koala.
  • Become a member of Friends of the Koala.
  • Sign up to our online monthly subscription of Joey Buddies.
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